How to save $75 when booking a last minute award with United/Star Alliance

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This tip will come in handy for anyone travelling to or around the US, or using United miles to fly around Europe on Star Alliance partners. We found ourselves a little behind on booking travel for next month and are quickly regretting it! As flight prices go up, award seats become harder to snag.

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However, we found a couple of seats on a United flight from Toronto to Denver and as soon as I’d booked it and read the e-ticket email, I saw that $75 out of the $135 we paid in taxes was United’s ‘close in booking fee’, charged on itineraries which depart in the next 21 days or less. $75!

It’s one of those fees that airlines just charge because they can. Snapping up empty seats last minute is actually doing the airline a favour but worry not – there’s a simple way around it.

United don’t charge for cancellations or changes to ticket in the 24h after booking your ticket. SO, all you need to do is book the exact same route, but a few weeks in the future, then once you’ve booked it go back in and change your ticket to your preferred dates. As you can see below, there is no charge for the change of date, and no $75 fee:

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Happy last-minute booking!

This post was produced in association with Pete’s blog Miles Ahead – give us a like and come along for the ride!

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